I often wonder why God chose me to become a priest. I can think of many who would have seemed to be a much better choice than me. I am not complaining about His choice, but there are times when I wonder what it is in me that led God to have this call upon my life. Ultimately I suppose, I just have to learn to trust in His wisdom and do the best that I can with all that He entrusts to me. This will certainly make for a very exciting sort of life as God’s will unfolds for me and I watch Him work His marvels in the lives of those whom I meet and minister.

I am sure Matthew, a tax collector no less, must have had similar musings from time to time. Tax collectors were one of the most hated professions in Israel during the Roman times because they were the ones who were seen to be not only corrupt and defrauding people of their rightful money, but also as traitors to the Jewish nation as they were cooperating with the Roman occupiers to raise money to finance the occupation! It is not surprising that the Scriptures often couple the tax collectors with the sinners when they want to indicate the dregs of human society!

This does not stop Jesus calling Matthew to be His disciple. It does not seem to matter to Jesus what the previous occupation of any of His disciples or followers happened to be! One of his woman companions had been a prostitute/adulterer. Paul was a persecutor and probably murderer of Christians before his conversion to Christ. Many of the saints led far from perfect lives before they responded to the call to follow Jesus. Hey! We should be rejoicing in all this because it means that there is still hope for us to become saints!

The key aspect we need to consider, or maybe there are two aspects, are hearing and responding to God’s call and realizing that the main thing is that it is all dependent upon the work of His grace in our lives. It is not our ability or strength that matters; it is not the environment in which we live, though that can help; it is whether or not we respond to the grace God offers us for our salvation. Every one of us is offered sufficient grace for our salvation AND that we can become saints. Why is it that so few of us take up this offer to the full?

What is the most important desire in my life? I hope it has something to do with living out my salvation in fear and trembling of the Lord!

Father, thank you for choosing me to follow your son, Jesus. Help me to accept your generous offer of grace and to never allow myself to be distracted form the primary goal of living out the call you place upon my life.